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In these economic doldrums, many travelers are now looking for a bargain. There is a dilemma with traveling on a budget. Many of the cheapest places require a long-haul flight. However, this comes with the guarantee of cheap lodgings, excursions, and food while there.
A recent online discussion shows people’s suggestions for the best and cheapest countries in the world to visit.
This beautiful boomerang-shaped tropical country in southeastern Asia is perfect for anyone on a shoestring. Motorbike rental is as cheap as $5 per day, while a bowl of pho and a banh-mi sandwich will be just a few bucks. Moreover, one can sleep in a shack on the beach for next to nothing and live well for $10 per day.
Nepal has a gross national income (GNI) of roughly $1,200 per capita, making it one of the poorest nations on Earth. However, Nepal has some of the warmest, most gentle-natured people I have met, and they all benefit from tourism. Furthermore, Nepal boasts the most impressive mountain views known to humanity, achievable for $25 per day — though this won’t include excursions, etc.
West of Vietnam sits Cambodia, which is far less developed than its famous neighbor, though no less beautiful. The great thing about Cambodia is the value for money one can achieve. With hostels from $5 per night, cheap transport, food, and excursions, Cambodia is a dream for any backpacker.
A lesser-known Balkan state, Serbia is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe between Bosnia and Romania. “Not only is it cheap, but you also have amazing food, friendly people, rich history, and wonderful nature,” a proud local from the thread proclaims. “Even Belgrade, known for being expensive (for Serbians), is quite cheap for foreigners.”
“There are numerous places to visit,” shares a Bulgarian commenter. “You lay on the beach one day and go hiking the other.” This sounds appealing. I must admit I haven’t tried Eastern Europe so much other than Croatia — does Greece count? Bulgaria has some of the cheapest skiing in the winter and some of the best-kept beaches in the region.
Like Vietnam, Thailand is a favorite for backpackers who enjoy cheap flights in and around the country, low-cost motorbike hire, and incredible value street food. One can easily go island hopping in the south or adventuring in the northern mountains for excellent prices compared to anywhere in the Western world. Plus, the people are wonderful.
Poland is becoming a go-to place for budget travel with its rich history, well-preserved architecture, and vast, beautiful countryside to explore. “This country offers a treasure trove of architectural, environmental, and cultural wonders for anyone who loves to explore,” boasts a patriotic Pole in the discussion.
8. Saudi Arabia
A controversial choice? I like to think no country’s leaders represent its good people, and this is no truer than Saudi Arabia. Tourism is cheaper in the mega-rich desert state than in its wealthy compatriot nations. Due to Saudi’s early nature as an emerging tourism destination, one can find incredible bargains in some dizzying resorts.
I lived in Egypt for one year. I saw the Pyramids, snorkeled over the best reefs I have seen, and visited countless other historical monuments, such as Karnak Temple and Abu Simbel — all at excellent prices. In two weeks, you can see the best of Cairo, Alexander, and Luxor, visit the beach resorts in Sinai, and enjoy numerous oases and temples on a Nile Cruise.
10. Sri Lanka
India’s little neighbor to the southwest has a host of nicknames, including Ceylon, Pearl of the Orient, and the Teardrop of India. However, my favorite is the Resplendent Isle, which summarizes the place well. If one chooses the backpacker route, life in Sri Lanka is super cheap, and with some of the best surf in the Indian Ocean, a popular spot for surf addicts and beach hermits.
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